How often do you organise a video conference for your Executive or team? All the time, right? Well, today I thought I would share with you the top five alternative conferencing platforms that are available online. If you don’t have internal video conferencing software, each of these platforms will do the trick and are well worth checking out. For more technology reviews check out our Tech of the Week.
The top five alternative conferencing platforms
If you have a small team, or only use video conferencing every now and again Appear.in might work well for you. Appear.in is a very simple online conferencing platform that is free for four participants and $9.99 per month for 12 participants. You can create rooms for your call, set up a URL link, send it out to your attendees and they can simply access the call from the link. So, no need to download any software. The rooms can be locked and password protected. The call can be accessed from any device and you can share your screen.
Join.me is an online platform and app that allows for easy video or audio conferencing. You don’t need to download any software as everything is available on the website for use. The Price is based on a freemium model so and you can access the 14-day free trial to test all of the features.
It has features for individuals, teams and businesses. For video conferencing Join.me is set up with video bubbles – simple, light, floating visual images of you and the people you are meeting. Users can view live video bubbles of one another during video-only meetings or while simultaneously sharing their screens with each other. Screen sharing can also be swapped between presenters on the same call.
For Audio Conferencing join.me has local conference numbers in the States and 50+ countries, optional toll-free numbers, and audio controls for meeting hosts such as Active Speaker, Individual Mute and Roll Call. Join.me also features a scheduling feature which integrates with iCal and Google Calendar.
The App has the same features and can be used on the go. The app also allows users to collaborate using a virtual whiteboard.
Zoom is a cloud-based system which provides users with a video-conferencing and online meeting service along with webinars and file sharing functions.
Zoom has a number of features. You can use it for simple video-conferencing in your meeting rooms or on your computer. The audio and video are both in HD, and anyone can join in a Zoom call, even if they don’t have an account. You can share your screen, use a touch screen, share documents and control the meeting from one central point. Zoom also supports online meetings for up to 500 participants and live webinars. The basic package is free and then moves to paid plans, depending on your needs.
If you already have a Google Account or use Google Docs, then Google Hangout is probably the best software for you. It is really simple to use and everything can be done online, so no need to download any software. You can set up a group chat to collaborate on projects, from there with just one click you can video call a colleague or you can create a group call for up to 10 people. This can be done on your computer or any mobile device and of course, there is a Chrome extension to easily manage your communications.
If you are using Alexa for Business then you might think about using Amazon Chime to host your conference calls. Chime is again an online platform for all types of communications, including video, voice and messaging. You can ask Alexa to set up the call on Chime and then set a reminder to start the call or get Chime to call you when the meeting is starting. The software can be used on any device including your computer and mobile. It is free to try for 30 days and then is priced on the number of participants.